One area where many of us get ourselves into trouble is in our speech.
We react, give advice and simply talk without thinking. This creates hurt feelings and relationship discord. There are many techniques to help with this and this one is simple and quite effective.
Before speaking ask yourself these three questions:
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?
Often the first two are on target, but that third one is a bit tricky to avoid. Many of our comments are well meaning in our minds. Think about how many times you have received unsolicited advice or opinions and how it felt.
Even the most innocent comment can be hurtful and unnecessary.
Taking a moment to pause and get centered before you speak will give you time to ask yourself if what you were about to say is appropriate. This change in behavior will have a positive impact on your relationships and your own inner peace.
Give this a try and let me know in the comments below how it went. Did you hold back on a comment? Did you notice when you made an unnecessary comment?
Most of the time when we get angry or hurt, it is because we take things personally. We get hooked and react, which not only takes us out of the moment but negatively impacts our physical well being.
Much of our reactions come from family members. We have history with them and when they do something that annoys or hurts us it is because we have made it about us. In reality, it is about them- their thoughts, judgments and behaviors.
I once heard someone talking about how her parents really push her buttons. Someone replied: Remember, they installed them!
One of the most difficult challenges in relationships is to let other be who they are, quirks and all without layering our objections and reactions onto their behavior.
The key is to realize it is really not about us at all, it is about how they see things. When we are able to see this clearly, we can come back to the here and now and go about our day with peace and ease.
In time, maybe those buttons can be uninstalled!
Let me know in the comments below how you react to family. Do you take their behavior personally? If so, can you make a shift to stay in the moment?
I was having a conversation with an elder and he told me that he was often thinking about past events that impacted his life. He told me few stories and they were all about wrongs that he felt were done to him.
This man has had a wonderful long life with so many gifts, yet his focus is on the negative events.
I asked him: If it was painful when it happened years back, why would you want to continue to re- live the experience over and over again. It wasn’t fun the first time!
We all have experienced unpleasant situations and often we focus on and remember them more than the pleasant ones. Our negative experiences stem from either something that was done to us, something that we did, or something that we had no control over. We perpetuate whatever feelings we had and bring them into the present day.
Our reality is created by our mind.
If we would focus on the uplifting and happy events, we would live with more gratitude.This would bubble over into our relationships and experiences, helping us to stay present in the moment, fully participating in our daily life. We could live with my peace, ease and joy.
It's our choice.
What do you want your focus to be today? Let me know in the comments below.
“Mind is the deadliest of foes, but the most useful of servants. When it turns wild and gets out of control, it heads for certain destruction. When properly awakened and controlled, there is no limit to what the mind can do.” Charan Singh
There are two definitions that will help understand this quote:
- Awakened: To be completely conscious.
- Conscious: Having an awareness of one's environment and one's own existence, sensations, and thoughts.
The hurricane that traveled up the East Coast left a path of destruction and chaos. The aftermath of allowing our tumultuous thoughts to take charge of our behavior will create similar consequences.
Everything in our path is impacted; relationships, physical and emotional health, ability to make clear decisions and more.
Only when we can anchor our minds are in the present moment are we able to make choices of how we want to behave, rather than reacting to our circumstances.
Let me know in the comments below how you relate to this. What happens when your mind spins out of control?
"I thank God for my handicaps, for through them I have found myself, my work and my God" – Helen Keller
Helen Keller had unimaginable obstacles to overcome in her life, and her attitude is inspiring.
Gratitude for the challenges in life is difficult for many of us to understand. We tend to look at the things that have been painful having a negative impact on us. Everything we experience in life impacts who we become and our day to day living.
Many of the most inspiring people in our lives had to endure major hurdles.
- Take a moment and think about something that was difficult for you to overcome.
- Notice the event without imposing any judgments or emotional charge. Simply look at it as an observer.
- Now with the same observation, look at how you live your life now.
- Find one thing about yourself that might not have emerged if the early event did not happen.
- Take a few breaths, focusing on that awareness.
When you do this exploration invite your mind to remain in the moment, and you can gain some insight into the positive gifts you received and how it shaped your perceptions, activities, spiritual path, and relationships.
Let me know in the comments below what you discovered. If you could not think of anything, let me know what got in the way.
Un-Hook from Reaction with 5 Simple Tools
Relationships can be wonderful and rich, but they also often challenge us.
Those we care about the most can easily frustrate us. Our significant other, our children or parents hook us and we react.
Many times the feelings are justified, but the problem arises when we respond with inappropriate behavior. Yelling, stomping and name calling is harmful to both you and those around you, and your frustrations can lead to these behaviors in a flash. It is like being blindsided by a car. You did not see it coming until it is too late, but the damage is already done.
How can you step on the breaks instantly?
Here are some simple tools that can help:
1. Take a breath
2. Feel your feet on the ground
3. Put a visual Stop Sign in your mind
4. Walk away and talk later
5. Bring to mind someone you care about (it might be the person you are reacting to)
What do all of these tools have in common? They bring you back to the moment.
Try one or all of these tools and see if it makes a difference. If you react to others in emotionally harmful ways, and later realize that you should have used one of the above techniques, you are already on your way to change. Please share what worked or did not work for you in the comments below. Feel free to contact me with any questions.